Persistent Kay Rains Raises SoCal Flooding Concerns

The remnants of Tropical Storm Kay could bring thunderstorms and flooding Sunday and early this week to southern California, especially in the interior mountains and deserts, according to the National Weather Service.

A flash flood watch was in effect Saturday for mountainous and desert areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties, as well as the Inland Empire.

Sunday’s thunderstorms “may move slower” than Saturday’s, increasing the risk of flooding if rain continues to hit the same areas, Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Los Angeles, said Saturday. “That’s something we’re going to take a closer look at today.”

In San Diego County, “we’re going to see scattered showers persisting in the area” Sunday and Monday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Casey Oswant. “Showers are most likely in the mountains but could at times drift west into the valleys or east into the deserts.”

The area can expect “a slight chance of thunderstorms each afternoon as well, with all that tropical humidity remaining” as Kay leaves the area, Oswant added. But the region has largely avoided the flash floods and coastal flooding that had been predicted that the tropical storm made a rare northern approach towards the California-Mexico border, causing gusts to exceed 100 mph in the mountains of San Diego County, bringing Miami-style humidity and causing high surf.

Perhaps most significantly, the storm brought Southern California relief from the trying temperatures earlier in the week. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s early next week but will be lower on beaches and some mountain areas. Some areas could cool further as low clouds return, Munroe said.

“We will start to warm up a bit towards the end of the week,” Oswant said, “but temperatures will remain closer to seasonal temperatures for this time of year.”

In northern California, the drop in temperatures was good news for crews struggling with the mosquito fire, which had grown to more than 33,000 acres on Saturday and spurred evacuation orders for thousands of people in Placer and El Dorado counties. Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted on Saturday that the fire continued to threaten structures and power lines.

Chris Vestal, a public information officer for the Sacramento Metro Fire District who is the spokesperson for the Mosquito Fire, said officials are closely monitoring the wind patterns to see if they change. .

“We are optimistic that we are making progress and hope that the winds will remain as light as expected,” Vestal said. He noted that the steep slope the terrain complicated the effort to build strong containment lines.

Firefighters fighting against Fairview fire near Hemet were also relieved by rain, with the extra moisture saturating the area and mitigating the threat posed by high winds, said Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department spokesman Rob Roseen.

“We got some of those winds, but the rain came a lot earlier than expected,” Roseen said. “We still have fire rooted in some of these tree trunks and things of that nature, and there’s definitely still some fire work to do, but for the most part the fire has been reduced.”

Some North Temecula residents who had been evacuated began returning home Friday evening, he said.

On Saturday morning, Tropical Storm Kay was about 250 miles southwest of the San Diego coast. For a normally dry September, the storm easily broke precipitation records in San DiegoHidden View, Angels and Burbank.

San Diego recorded 0.61 inches of precipitation on Friday – surpassing the date record of 0.09 inches, set in 1976. More than 5 inches of rain was recorded over two days at Mount Laguna in San Diego County.

Tens of thousands of people in the Los Angeles area had lost power Saturday morning, including in Pico-Union, Hollywood and other neighborhoods in Sylmar and San Pedro. The Los Angeles Water and Power Department said more than 24,000 people were left without power by mid-morning Saturday, and another 30,000 had regained power after outages over the previous 24 hours that ranged from minutes to hours, according to spokeswoman Mia Rose Wong.

“Crews are working incredibly hard and as fast as they can,” Rose Wong said. “They will be working around the clock until all power is restored.”

By early Saturday afternoon, nearly 13,000 customers remained without power, DWP said, estimating its crews took 12-24 hours to respond after an outage was reported. The the department said that during heavy rains and windstorms, the most common cause of power outages is flying debris, such as tree branches and palm fronds, striking power lines.

“This is especially true with the first rain after a long period of time, and especially after dry conditions like those the region experienced following the drought,” the department said in a statement.

The rain triggered an advisory from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, which warned residents to be careful about swimming, surfing or playing in the ocean amid concerns about contamination from storm drains , which may include bacteria, chemicals, waste and the like. health hazards.

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